A day in a life of a caregiver

1:00 p.m.

  • Bathroom break. Same as before. This is giving her the opportunity to stretch her legs again but also to go to the bathroom if she needs. This is typically the fastest trip out of the day and depending on lunch time, can actually be pushed to 2:00 p.m.

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

  • Nap time. Well, not exactly. You would think that by this time my grandmother would be ready for a nap but she refuses to nap. Sometimes I can get her to sit on the couch with her feet up but that can be a losing battle. Taking her to her room to sleep comfortably in her bed is a fight that only serves to work her up more where there is yelling and tears because she is so upset and takes this as a form of punishment. So most times, she’s not napping.
  • Snack time. She may get a some tea with a vanilla cookies. This is definitely a treat so I let her pick something.
  • Bathroom Break. This is really just to get her up and see if she as to go. Sometimes yes. Sometimes no.
  • Dinner prep. This doesn’t mean I’m serving dinner at all but I definitely need to start prepping it because when my grandmother is hungry and left waiting, she gets angry.

4:00 p.m.

  • Exercise/long walk. This time won’t necessarily be a structured exercise set and might be us just taking a stroll downstairs or outside. Depending on weather, I actually push this event up to a bit after she has lunch so she can enjoy the sun and good weather. I let her dictate how long she wants the walk to be.

5:00 p.m. 

  • Dinner time. Finally! Day almost over, right? Not quite.

7:00 – 8:30 p.m. 

  • Bathroom break. Yup, we’re here again. It sounds odd to have yet antoher bathroom break but have you ever counted how many times you’ve gone to the bathroom during a typical day? Now think about the days when you ate something that probably didn’t sit well with you. And now think about someone else having to predict when you’d need to go to the bathroom. It’s a tough gig.
  • Getting ready for bed. I change my grandmother into her pajamas by this time the latest and I do so while we’re in the bathroom because it’s easier to get her undressed and then dressed again. It also gives her more time to realize whether or not she does need to relieve herself. Then we take off those dentures and wash her face/mouth so we can start winding down.
  • Tea time. If I start eating anything in front of my grandmother, she demands that she gets some as she hasn’t eaten all day. I don’t get it but it happens. So I give her decaffeinated tea (Zzz tea) again and perhaps 1/2 of a breakfast cereal bar or ginger snaps, etc. It really depends.

9:30 p.m.

  • Time for bed. I stay with her gain for the night to make sure she falls asleep. I get her clothes prepped for the next morning and I turn down the lights and leave. But I don’t go too far for at least another 30-40 minutes.

Then we repeat this all for Sunday. Yay! Only this time, instead of the sponge bath, she gets a full bath with her hair washed and all. I get her meds ready for the week and clothes set for the next day. I also include mani/pedi time. A girl has too look her best after all, right? Plus, it’s good to care for her feet and give her some relaxation. Who doesn’t like soaking his/her feet and getting a pedicure? But because even the pedicure stresses my grandmother out from time to time (despite having the proper pedicure/foot spa at home) proper pedicures may be once a month.

7 thoughts on “A day in a life of a caregiver

  1. Thank you for this! I saw how difficult this was when I visited my aunt and uncle (they took care of my grandfather who had Alzheimer’s). But this post made me more aware of how many things need to be cared for, and the importance of motivation (be it for any job) and the need for well deserved wages… I could sense the exhaustion just reading this, I cannot imagine how tiring it would be everyday… you’re doing a great job! Being able to love your grandmother everyday amidst all of this 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for following and reading! It is definitely tiring but it is definitely worth it. I guess, to a certain extent, it’s like what parents feel like raising children. And I just keep thinking, “what if it’s me in her shoes one day”, you know?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow seriously reading all the things you have on your schedule everyday with your grandma is exhausting. I definitely don’t know how you do it. You truly have a heart of gold and so much patience. As I was reading I was suddenly reminded of how much you needed this trip right now. It’s a mental wellness trip bc you need a break and just be ‘Missy’ and ‘Missy and Alex’ right now. You are so strong. Can’t forget that you also have a senior diabetic dog to take care of too. I can’t even imagine. Fighting my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for this post. My husband and I care for my father who is battling Stage IV Prostate cancer. He is now on hospice and we receive help from nursing staff 3 times a week. I admire your strength and your ability to take on each day with a fresh perspective. But I totally understand the days when it is tough just to get through each minute. I get it. I understand. And I will be keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. Thank you for writing with vulnerability!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh wow! Good on both of you for taking on that level of care. It’s amazing how we can get renewed strength despite thinking we are at our lowest with nothing left to give. I wish the government would give us all more days of care from nursing staff. It’s great to have 3 days but seldom do people realize just how intense and draining (emotionally and physically) it is to care for a parent. You and your husband are beautiful souls indeed. Thank you for finding the time to read and comment. You all will also be in my thoughts and prayers. It takes a village, right? I’m glad to know we are not alone.

      Like

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